Platform 70 is a project of the National Partnership Agreement on Homelessness and commenced in 2011. The project has the following key objectives:
- To place 70 rough sleepers in the Woolloomooloo (NSW) area into long term housing by 2012/13.
- To reduce the reliance on crisis accommodation for homeless people by increasing long term housing options for rough sleepers in the Woolloomooloo area
- To enhance the sustainability of private rental tenancies for rough sleepers in the Woolloomooloo area by linking housing assistance with support services
As part of the NSW Homelessness Action Plan Evaluation Strategy, Housing NSW contracted NDARC to conduct a longitudinal analysis of Platform 70.
Professor Paul Flatau
Centre for Social Impact, University of Western Australia
Dr Elizabeth Conroy
Centre for Health Research, University of Western Sydney
To identify the factors that contribute to successfully housing people exiting homelessness via head-leasing arrangements; and secondly, to identify the factors that contribute to the sustainability of tenancies for this group.
The Platform 70 evaluation will build on an existing evaluation of the Way2Home program currently being conducted by Dr Burns. Therefore, the methodology will be tightly integrative within, and informative of, the cognate Way2Home study. The evaluation will include:
Quantitative client surveys upon entry to support (the baseline survey) and 12 months post-baseline.
- A cost-benefit analysis
- Analysis of data collected by the housing provider and support teams
- Qualitative surveys of a sub-sample of Platform 70 participants
- Stakeholder analysis
The findings presented in the baseline report (released July 2013) focused on the demographics of all Platform 70 consumers, the key elements and outcomes of the head-lease model, and baseline consumer outcomes, including housing, physical health, mental health, social engagement and service usage.
Results showed that the consumers of the Platform 70 program met the intended target group of vulnerable people who have experienced chronic homelessness in Woolloomooloo. The stakeholders interviewed for the evaluation universally regarded the head-leasing model as a contemporary approach to breaking the cycle of homelessness, enabling chronic rough sleepers to stop cycling through homelessness services and engage with communities and mainstream services. Platform 70 housing had provided consumers with the stability needed to focus on other issues, such as health care and reconnecting with family, which were typically neglected when rough sleeping in favour of addressing fundamental needs, such as accessing shelter and food.
There was broad agreement that two key strengths of the Platform 70 program are the immediacy of private rental market properties allowing rapid access to secure, permanent housing, and the wrap-around support services that maximised the opportunity for consumers to maintain tenancies. There has been a 94% tenancy retention rate among all Platform 70 consumers and all tenancy issues were resolved.
The 12-month follow-up data collection has now been completed, and the final report has been delivered to the funders for review.
Six-monthly progress reports will be delivered to the Housing NSW along with a final report.
Whittaker, E., Swift, W., Flatau, P., Dobbins, T., Schollar-Root, O., Burns, L. (2015). A place to call home: study protocol for a longitudinal, mixed methods evaluation of two housing first adaptations in Sydney, Australia. BMC Public Health, 15, 342-351. 10.1186/s12889-015-1700-y
Whittaker, E.* & Burns, L. Evaluations of homelessness services and pathways home, Presented at the NDARC Seminar Series, Sydney, 19 September 2013.
Whittaker, E.*, Schollar-Root, O.*, Burns, L. 2014. Housing is the first step: Preliminary findings from two ‘Housing First’ evaluations. Presented at the NDARC Seminar Series, Sydney, NSW, July 10th 2014.
Whittaker, E.* 2014. Research with individuals who are chronically homeless. Presented at the 2014 NDARC Annual Research Symposium, Sydney, NSW, September 8th 2014.
Whittaker, E.* & Burns, L. 2014. Homes for Sydney’s homeless: Findings of two ‘Housing First’ initiatives. Presented at The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) 2014, Adelaide, SA, November 9th-12th 2014.
Whittaker, E. & Burns, L.* 2014. The association between substance use and housing amongst people who inject drugs. Presented at The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) 2014, Adelaide, SA, November 9th-12th 2014.
Whittaker, E.* & Burns, L. 2015. Stable housing, stable substance use? Evaluation of two ‘Housing First’ programs for homeless individuals. Poster presented at the 77th Annual Meeting of The College on Problems of Drug Dependence (CPDD) 2015, Phoenix, USA, June 13th-18th 2015.
Whittaker, E.*, Swift, W., Dobbins, T., Burns, L. (2015). Stable Housing, Stable Substance Use? Evaluation of Two ‘Housing First’ Programs for Homeless Individuals. Poster presented at the 2015 NDARC Annual Research Symposium, Sydney, NSW, September 15th 2015.
Whittaker, E.*, Swift, W., Flatau, P., Dobbins, T., Burns, L. (2015). Home sweet home: A longitudinal, mixed methods evaluation of two Housing First programs for individuals with homelessness and substance use histories in Sydney, Australia. Presented at the Addictive Behaviours Conference, Lisbon, Portugal, September 23-25th 2015.
Whittaker, E.*, Swift, W., Flatau, P., Dobbins, T. Burns, L. (2015). Health Outcomes from Housing First Programs for the Chronically Homeless. Presented at the 2015 NHMRC Symposium on Research Translation, Sydney, NSW, October 27th-28th 2015.
Whittaker, E.*, Swift, W., Flatau, P., Dobbins, T. Burns, L. (2015). A Place To Call Home: A Longitudinal, Mixed Methods Evaluation Of Two Housing First Programs For Individuals With Homelessness And Substance Use Histories In Sydney, Australia. Poster presented at The Australasian Professional Society on Alcohol and other Drugs (APSAD) 2015, Perth, WA November 8th-11th 2015.
Whittaker, E.*, Swift, W., Flatau, P., Dobbins, T. Burns, L. (2015). Evaluation of two Sydney Housing First Programs for the Chronically Homeless. Presented at the Second National Complex Needs Conference, Sydney, NSW, November 17 th-18th 2015.
Whittaker, E.*, Schollar-Root, O., Zaretzky, K., Burns, L.* 2015. Key Findings from the Platform 70 Evaluation Final Report. Invited presentation to the Platform 70 Evaluation Reference Group, Sydney, NSW, July 20th 2015.
Whittaker, E.*, Swift, W., Dobbins, T., Flatau, P., Burns, L. 2015. Substance Use and Street to Home Initiatives: What are the Individual Changes from Housing Sydney’s Homeless? Invited presentation at the Education Session for St Vincent’s Alcohol & Drug Service, Sydney, NSW, September 9th 2015.
This project will contribute to a comprehensive evidence base to inform future service planning and resource allocation for homelessness services in NSW.